I finally finished writing up the patterns for these half-mitts and finalizing the feedback from the test knitting. There are two of them and they are available for free on Ravelry.
They are first cousins, having a lot of similarity. They have the same thumb gusset, the same 3 x 1 rib set up and coin lace. There are tiny differences which make for slightly different looks, but they are equally difficult/easy.
This one is called Coin Lace Half-Mitt. The coin lace pattern happens every seventh round which makes it look at bit like a cable pattern. It also has a slightly different treatment at the cuff when you get started. Here’s the link: Coin Lace Half-Mitt
This one is called Sitka Spruce Half Mitts – named after the colourway by Sweet Georgia Yarns. The coin lace pattern for this one happens every fifth round making the coin lace look rounder, more like a coin. This pattern also comes with a chart, so if you are new to knitting half-mitts with a pattern and thumb gusset, the chart with help you find your way. Here’s the link for this one Sitka Spruce Half Mitts.
They are so easy to make and only take a 50g skein of fingering or DK yarn. You can easily make several in a week. Thanks to Tina for the test knitting and for all these lovely samples.
I have another pattern under development. So let me know what you think of these and the way I explain things. Happy knitting!
Here is my latest pattern. I just posted it on Ravelry. It’s call Simple Lines because of the elegant 3 x 1 rib stitch. It is a straightforward knitting project, suitable for new knitters. In fact, it has been test knitted by a fleet of new knitters from the Langley Weavers and Spinners Guild. Have a go at it and let me know what you think.
They are so easy (and inexpensive) to make, you will make a fleet of them for all your friends and fashion needs.
It was with great joy that I handed over to Jacqueline and Linda the six pairs of mitts I made from their fibre. Here they all are. All are hand spun, hand knit, and four of them are hand dyed. Their reaction to these mitts made all of it worthwhile.
I haven’t really decided which one was my favourite, but these two below are in the running. The pattern for this one is Baby Fan Lace that I’ve used many, many times before. I love this pattern. It’s easy to do, easy to manipulate. I made this pair from a fingering weight I spun up of blended fibres. They were a light grey but I threw them into the dye pot at the last minute. And I am glad I did.
This is another pair that is in my favourite list. It’s just my standard mitten pattern instead of a ribbed cuff I made a 3 x 1 rib throughout. I love the way this yarn (made from the blending the dark grey and white fibre and then plying the blended fibre with a singles made of pure dark grey or white) behaves when over dyed with blue. It looks like denim.
The other day I noticed that my own pair of half-mitts is a little worse for wear. Now that all the Christmas preparations are done, I can get into my studio and get started on a pair (or two) of these for myself.
At the Aldergrove Fair a couple of weekends ago, a young gal asked me to make her a special pair of mitts. She liked the half-mitt style in hand spun yarn — but for this pair, she wanted them to come up to her elbow. So after a few minutes of finding out what fibres and colours she likes, I agreed to make her a pair.
I’ve got the pattern designed — it’s a variation on the Baby Fan Lace mitts, starting with more stitches and decreasing as you get to the wrist. And now I am working on the yarn. She liked the idea of blending alpaca and wool and adding just a wee bit of silk for some luster. So I set out to do that. Here’s a sample of the blended fibres and knit pattern. The first half (on the left) is the one I settled for, the yarn on the right is wool blended with cinnamon alpaca and silk.
Here’s what it was made out of: beige/cream alpaca, polworth (wool) and some tussah silk. Blending fibres can take a long time on the drum carder so I decided to use the picker to do the blending.
A picker is a piece of machinery that helps you open the fibres and get them ready for carding or even spinning. It’s also a great tool for blending fibres so they are mostly mixed before you put them through your drum carder. My girlfriend, from the dyeing days, owns a Patrick Green picker and she kindly let me borrow it for a spell. Here it is.
It has some pretty sharp teeth, so there’s no sipping wine while you do this. You have to pay attention on every single swing. The fibre is fed into the front and on each swing, the teeth grab the fibre, drag it across all the other teeth, and spit it out the back. All loose and opened up.
Then I took this wool/alpaca blend, added silk and put it through the drum carder. The results weren’t what I was hoping for — too many noils. I’ll post some photos of the sample yarn, when I have the issue sorted.
Here is a pattern for a pair of half mittens you can make in a very short time. When I test knit the pattern, I started in the afternoon, and finished them by the end of the day. I am a fairly fast, but not crazy fast knitter — so trust me, the timing may very well be the same for you. Think about it, you are using size 5mm needles and thick yarn.- 24 -28 stitches, 14 rounds can make the cuff, 10 rounds to the thumb, and another 14 or so rounds until you cast off. The thumbs themselves take about 15 minutes to knit up, because you have to focus and think about what you are doing, ie. picking up stitches.
I named these half-mittens “Vancouver Specials” after the architectural housing style
that evolved in Vancouver in the late 60’s to 80’s. When we moved here in 1994, all I had for winter wear was lovely warm mittens from life in Northern Ontario. I spent more time taking them off and fanning my sweating hands, than I did wearing them, so I decided to make a different kind. I liked those fingerless glove patterns, but after making one pair of those I wondered why I was spending so much time on each finger. . . . what if I just made a pair of mittens and then stopped before the decreasing at the top? Magic. A comfortable, funky looking, easy to make and lovely to wear item that warmed my hands just the amount needed.
Here’s the link
to the pattern. Good luck with it and let me know how it turns out.
I want to thank my sister Laura for desktopping this pattern and making it look so good on paper. And also to thank my reluctant model — youngest daughter Georgia Rose.